Wisteria - pruning to get the best flower display

At this time of year a Wisteria in full bloom is a magnificent sight to behold and our own specimen on the west facing wall of the studio has been no exception. Wisteria is so vigorous that usually a good flower display happens naturally, without pruning. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case with ours. It was very vigorous but since we planted it 5 years ago the flower display has been frankly underwhelming. We literally had only one of two blooms! So last year we decided to follow the pruning advice of the RHS:

  • In late July / August we cut back all the green, leafy ‘whippy’ side shoots so that only 5 or 6 leaves remained - approximately 30cm from the main woody stem from which they grow. The removal of all these leaves means that the sun can get to and ‘ripen’ the wood on which next years flowers will form.

  • The following January / February we cut those same remaining side shoots back further, to leave only 2 buds on stubs about 2.5 - 5cm from the main stem. This means the flowers will be more visible.

    As you can see below, this year the Wisteria is covered in fragrant blossom….

The Wisteria on the wall of our studio in full bloom

The Wisteria on the wall of our studio in full bloom

Pruning naturally vigorous plants like Wisteria means that their energy can be put into flowering rather than lots of leafy growth.